Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Entwined by Heather Dixon


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Entwined by Heather Dixon
Rating: 3.75 stars
Source: Library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late."

Review: I finally read this retelling of the twelve dancing princesses fairytale because it's Utah Book Month and Heather Dixon is a local author!  All hail Utah Book Month.  Glad to be supporting it.

Anyway, this fairytale was my favorite as a girl.  I loved the idea of there being secret passages in ancient magical castles that hold midnight balls.  I mean, really, is there anything more romantic to a young girl?  And although I've always loved that fairytale, I haven't read any retellings of it - until now.

So now that I have, my gut reaction is primarily nostalgia for this fairytale.  This story stuck pretty true to its source material.  There are some deviations from the fairytale I grew up with, but the basic premise is very recognizable.  This was both a good thing and a bad thing.  It was good (for me, anyway) because I really like the source material.  But it was bad because it made the story a bit too predictable.  I was hoping for a little more guesswork to be required on the reader's part.  Okay, there were a few things that surprised me, but those surprises mostly surrounded the protagonist's sisters, and didn't have anything to do with the main plot.  

One thing that really surprised me was how young the twelve dancing princesses were.  The oldest princess was sixteen at the book's inception, and the youngest was a newborn.  Maybe I'm just too old, but I had a really hard time imagining toddlers sneaking out to dance these elaborate dances in the middle of the night, every single night.  Firstly, because the dances are pretty detailed, and small kids would not have the attention span nor the coordination to master them.  But more importantly, they're just kids.  Out for hours every night.  I mean, have you ever met a sleep-deprived toddler?  It's not a pretty sight.  Teenagers, I could believe.  But all those younger girls... I call their bluff.  Maybe it's because I am a mother to a toddler, but I found that whole idea to be pretty insane unbelievable.  

But, despite the age of the sisters, and despite some really, really heavy handed dancing metaphors, it was still a fun read.  I loved reliving this fairytale, loved watching this family become happy once again, and felt content at its conclusion.  Fairytale readers, especially younger fairytale readers, should like this retelling quite a lot.

Review in a GIF:

So You Think You Can Dance animated GIF

Bottom Line: A decent retelling with satisfying moments throughout.  I think this story would be a great fit for young romantics, especially if they have a penchant for dance.

4 comments:

  1. That gif is mesmerizing. I sat a looked at it for like 5 minutes. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. It gives me high hopes that I'll enjoy it too!

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    1. Glad you liked the GIF! Hope you like the book, too. :)

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  2. Well, I only vaguely remember the original fairytale so hopefully I'll enjoy this one should I ever read it.

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    1. Hopefully you do! Though I think the (pre) teen crowds are more likely to like it. But, hey, you never know. :)

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